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*** UPDATED x1 - Cullerton: “Nope” *** “Sincerely, Bruce”

Friday, Jul 31, 2015

*** UPDATE *** I just asked Senate President Cullerton’s spokesperson about this passage in the governor’s letter…

President Cullerton publicly expressed this week that he is open to changes in the prevailing wage law.

She said he made those remarks at the Tribune editorial board meeting. “He indicated that he could be open to looking at modest proposals but would rather look at other ways to maximize savings for local communities and school districts,” she said.

OK. So I asked if those “modest proposals” include allowing local governments to eliminate the prevailing wage.

“Nope,” she said.

[ *** End Of Update *** ]

* The governor just sent a memo to legislators…

To: Members of the General Assembly
From: Bruce Rauner, Governor
Re: Turnaround Agenda – Property Tax Freeze and Local Control Legislation
Date: July 31, 2015

As both legislative chambers prepare to reconvene next week, I want to begin directly communicating with you on our Turnaround Agenda and the state budget.

I know this extra session is frustrating for many of you – it is for me as well. It has already gone on far longer than necessary. As soon as all parties are interested in beginning real negotiations, there is no reason we can’t quickly reach an agreement that will make Illinois more competitive and free up resources inside state government so we can afford to be more compassionate. I am eager to reach an agreement soon on reasonable reforms to turn around the state we all love.

I also know that many of you may be having difficulty receiving full and accurate information about our proposals. I suspect that much of what you have read or heard about our compromise proposals is likely incomplete or lacking critical context. This memo is the first in a series that are meant to clarify our positions and explain directly why our reforms are both reasonable and necessary.

Before addressing the first policy area, I want to reiterate the motivation behind our Turnaround Agenda. I simply want Illinois to be the most competitive and the most compassionate state in the nation. It is not an ideological agenda – I have shown a willingness to embrace policies that run contrary to Republican orthodoxy. Our reforms are aimed at growing our economy so that over the long term we have more money to invest in our schools and social services, and our reforms are meant to free up money inside state government so that we can give the most vulnerable among us a hand up. I know it sounds trite, but I love Illinois and her people. They are the motivation behind our agenda.

One issue where the people of Illinois demand reform is on property taxes. As you know, we have the second highest property taxes in the nation, and those high taxes hurt middle class families as well as our economic competitiveness. We need to deliver property tax relief.
A short-term property tax freeze alone, while politically popular, is only a small step and will not be truly effective at helping our homeowners and small business owners unless we also give local units of government and school districts the ability to control costs. Absent those tools, property taxes will increase again as soon as the freeze expires. Our proposed legislation offers reasonable reforms that allow – but do not require – local units of government to use tools to control costs.

More detailed information on these tools is below:

    Collective Bargaining Reform

    Current Law

    Years of court rulings and negotiations have gradually eroded management flexibility in collective bargaining agreements for schools, cities, counties, community colleges and other units of government. Once a topic is negotiated by an employer, the government is effectively obligated to continue negotiating over that topic for future collective bargaining agreements. This creates a “one-way ratchet” in which decisions made decades ago by other leaders effectively cannot be altered.

    Proposed Changes

    Local units of government and school districts should be allowed to “reset” this framework. The compromise Turnaround legislation gives local governments and voters the ability to determine what issues must be negotiated. If they do not want to change existing collective bargaining topics, they can keep the status quo. Local voters and elected officials would be given a choice to craft the best option for their communities, allowing them to free up resources, if necessary, for other critical government services.

    Context

    Chicago Public Schools is facing the very challenge this legislation seeks to address.

    In 1981 CPS agreed to “pick up” most of the teachers’ share of their pension contributions. That means that on top of the employer share of pension contributions, CPS also picks up 77 percent of the employee’s share. This deal, created more than 30 years ago, has resulted in CPS in FY15 alone paying approximately $127 million towards the employee contribution for teachers.

    Chicago leaders have requested that the state remove the “pension pick up” from collective bargaining and require teachers to pay their own share. In recent years, the state has given Chicago other requested collective bargaining changes. For example, CPS was given the ability to decline to negotiate over particular subjects, including the length of the school year and duration of instructional time, at the Mayor’s request in 2011. We should end the piecemeal-type approach to collective bargaining reform and give all our local leaders the tools and flexibility they need.

    Prevailing Wage Reform

    Current Law

    Illinois law requires wages on state and local construction projects that do not reflect true market rates. This drives up taxpayer costs by up to 20 percent and diverts money that can otherwise go to fund our schools and social services. Illinois’ is an outlier in this regard. Nearly 20 states do not have any prevailing wage requirements, and more than 20 additional states limit prevailing wages to a monetary threshold.

    Proposed Changes
    The compromise Turnaround legislation allows true competitive bidding in local taxpayer- funded construction projects.. Local units of government and school districts would be allowed to opt out of or remain in the state prevailing wage law. They would be able to set their own local prevailing wage requirements that are better tailored to their community. Existing prevailing wage requirements would remain for all state projects

    Context

    Any prevailing wage changes would occur only if a local community decided to adopt changes. Additionally, local units of government could adopt local contractor preferences, similar to what the City of Chicago has already enacted, to encourage Illinois-based workforces. Reforming the law would also open up more economic opportunity for a broader range of small businesses and minority-owned firms.

President Cullerton publicly expressed this week that he is open to changes in the prevailing wage law. That is encouraging and a starting point for more serious discussions about ways to control costs for local units of government. Given the financial plight of the City of Chicago, Chicago Public Schools and many communities and school districts throughout the state, it is common sense to also include collective bargaining reforms to the list of what we should be discussing. There is no reason the state should be tying the hands of our local leaders as they try to rescue our communities from years of bad financial decisions. Instead of binding our local leaders to short-sighted and fiscally irresponsible decisions made in the past by others, let’s give our current leaders the tools necessary to fix the future.

President Cullerton has also appropriately noted that school funding is a major component of our property tax system and a discussion of school funding formula should be included in any discussion of property taxes. I agree. While some details need to be worked out, I am very willing to include school funding reform as part of a compromise property tax and local control package.

We still must find a way to give local units of government tools to controls costs, but little else should be standing in the way of an agreement on this critical topic.

I hope you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to contact me or our staff if you have additional questions or ideas.

Sincerely,
Bruce

Discuss.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

94 Comments
  1. - Chief - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 2:40 pm:

    “President Cullerton publicly expressed this week that he is open to changes in the prevailing wage law”

    Just when Rikeesha thought she could call it a weekend…


  2. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 2:42 pm:

    I hope Bruce cleared using “President Cullerton” with his ole pal John…

    The Union stuff is DOA.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 2:43 pm:

    What I wouldn’t give for “Goldberg Special” rebuttal.

    That would make my Friday, lol


  4. - Big Muddy - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 2:43 pm:

    I think this is actually a good idea. Communicate with the GA directly, not thru their leadership, in writing why these changes are needed. Don’t need to agree with The Governor but it shows a willingness to communicate.


  5. - 47th Ward - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 2:43 pm:

    Great, it is still devoid of specifics and it’s fully two months late.


  6. - Anonymous - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 2:44 pm:

    I was worried @statehousechick was getting off the reservation with her column today. Now it’s clear she was just taking dictation, as usual.


  7. - Missing G - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 2:45 pm:

    His signature game is on fleek


  8. - Skeptic - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 2:47 pm:

    “Local units of government and school districts should be allowed to “reset” this framework.” That’s quite a bit different from “Local units are prohibited from bargaining on ….” What’s the catch?


  9. - GraduatedCollegeStudent - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 2:48 pm:

    So is that collective bargaining reform to be implemented immediately or as contracts expire? Because depending on the answer, I believe, based on the language Rauner used in his veto, that this is unconstitutional.


  10. - Wordslinger - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 2:48 pm:

    So he and Cullerton are BFFs, again?

    Quite a change in tone from the usual “sham.” But we’ve seen that before, too.

    I read this as “help me find a way to declare victory on something so we can wrap this up.”


  11. - siriusly - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 2:49 pm:

    I agree with Big Muddy. This is a good idea.

    If every member still votes no on his agenda after engaging with him directly, does that mean Madigan is still controlling both the House and the Senate?


  12. - siriusly - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 2:49 pm:

    47 - 2 months? Try 6 months !


  13. - Nick Danger - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 2:52 pm:

    Read it over a couple times. Pretty straight forward. Why is the “union stuff DOA”? Is that a political reality or a bad fiscal policy for local govs and schools?


  14. - Amalia - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 2:53 pm:

    I’ll have whatever he was on when he wrote this letter. Peace love, incense bells….


  15. - How Ironic - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 2:53 pm:

    Where’s the part about “If you don’t agree with me, you’ve got a ^*(^^(*%%$$^&%&ing problem”.

    I’m smelling a sham memo here folks.


  16. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 2:54 pm:

    First Rauner likes Cullerton, then he responds to Cullerton before he’s done with his remarks, now buds again…

    It’s as though Rauner and his Crew think everyday is a “do-over”

    People remember stuff.


  17. - burbanite - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 2:54 pm:

    I agree with graduated college student, the way he worded the collective bargaining stuff I think you may have to change the constitution to do it. hmmm Did I miss Cullerton saying he was open to prevailing wage?


  18. - Wensicia - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 2:57 pm:

    “As soon as all parties are interested in beginning real negotiations”

    Trouble is, Rauner considers “real” negotiations giving him the reforms he wants, including the elimination of collective bargaining. Anything else is a sham.

    The above has nothing to do with the budget, it’s merely the hostage.


  19. - Tough Guy - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 2:57 pm:

    It’s obvious he still doesn’t get it. State Fair is only two weeks away. He’d better figure out how he is going to pay the grandstand acts before they walk along with other vendors.


  20. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 2:57 pm:

    - Nick Danger -,

    No Union stuff, right now, will pass this Current GA, especially after the way Rauner rolled it out.

    ===I was worried @statehousechick was getting off the reservation with her column today. ===

    Today is July 31st. Payday. @EditBoardChick got her thank you note to buy groceries, and we got a column approved by the Rauner Press Shop.

    #Simple


  21. - Anonymous - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 2:58 pm:

    He has proven this session he is willing to compromise with reasonable people such as the teamsters. Madigan has yet to prove as much.


  22. - Loop Lady - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 2:59 pm:

    The Fair is coming up soon and Bruce needs a victory even on a small scale, so he has something to crow about on Gov a Day…


  23. - How Ironic - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 2:59 pm:

    @ Burbanite
    “Did I miss Cullerton saying he was open to prevailing wage?”

    Doesn’t matter what you think you heard. The tiny voices in Bruce’s head frequently give him faulty memories. Like when he “called” MJM and Cullerton after the election etc.


  24. - John A Logan - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:00 pm:

    Dear Legislators. I have been governor for 7 months. Thought it was time to say hello.


  25. - Jordan - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:03 pm:

    Legislators are probably receiving “incomplete” information because the Governor refuses to file bills with his language.


  26. - chi - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:04 pm:

    In 1981 CPS agreed to “pick up” most of the teachers’ share of their pension contributions. This was in exchange for foregoing raises.

    There, fixed it for ya.


  27. - Frank - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:04 pm:

    Translation:

    Dear Democratic Legislator,

    Here’s my proposed compromise: first, you vote for a handful of bills that really, really tick off your core constituents. Then, as a reward for taking some of the toughest votes of your career, you get to vote for a tax increase!!!! How can you say no to this offer?


  28. - Anonymous - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:04 pm:

    Written in a positive way, Rauner outlines what he wants and why. Now it is Madigan and Cullerton’s turn to do the same. That’s how deals are made or stalled. Slow progress.

    Madigan will probably ignore it or do something passive aggressive, while Cullerton may resort to snark or possibly surprise everyone by reclaiming the statesman role. We will see soon.


  29. - chi - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:06 pm:

    Nearly 20 states do not have any prevailing wage requirements, and poverty, inequality, and workplace injuries are much higher there. Standards of living are not.


  30. - Anonymous - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:06 pm:

    Bruce already got a victory on the Madigan pay raise, LL.


  31. - The Captain - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:06 pm:

    To: Members of the General Assembly

    I have selected the sledgehammer I plan to use. I would like to work with you to pick out what color we should paint it. I am very reasonable when it comes to picking the color we should paint my sledgehammer. I look forward to working with you on this important issue.

    Sincerely,
    Bruce


  32. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:07 pm:

    ===Now it is Madigan and Cullerton’s turn to do the same.===

    Nope.

    Rauner needs 71 and 36. Rauner needs to make the case.

    It’s like people forget that 71 and 36 part Rauner needs…


  33. - chi - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:08 pm:

    Gov wants local communities to have the “flexibility” to pay people less, and strip their right to bargain. He does not want local communities to have any other flexibility.


  34. - chi - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:10 pm:

    Reclaim the Statesman role= Do what Rauner wants? This is not a good definition of statesman.


  35. - Juice - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:10 pm:

    Dear Bruce,

    It would be much easier for me to take you gesture seriously if it were grounded in facts and reality. For example, while you can argue that prevailing wage laws are bad public policy, reality tells us that labor costs make up between 20% to 30% of the costs of a construction project. Therefore it is simply mathematically impossible that eliminating such laws would save taxpayers 20% of the cost of the project.

    On CPS, it is nice that your letter recognizes that the district faces financial difficulty. But are you unaware that the K-12 budget that you signed actually reduced funding for CPS, and that your property tax freeze would further reduce the limited resources that are available to CPS, in total to probably an amount greater than what the district is paying as the employer pick-up. Also, you do realize that eliminating the employer pick up is a reduction in take home pay, right? (Just wanted to be sure, because I seem to recall you stating your desire to see public employees have more money in their pockets. Or was that just a shoutout to your “superstars”?)

    I think it is also important to remind you that during these trying times, the Government that you oversee is currently only operating under court order, and your union contract is expired, so maybe that should be a higher priority for you instead of micromanaging from afar the revenue and collective bargaining decisions made by local elected officials.

    Anyways, hope you are well and that you’re enjoying the summer. Heard you had a blast at the Dead concert.

    Sincerely,
    Juice


  36. - Jack Stephens - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:10 pm:

    Bruce,

    Where is your Constitutionally Mandated Balanced Budget?

    Love,
    Jack


  37. - Norseman - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:15 pm:

    === I also know that many of you may be having difficulty receiving full and accurate information about our proposals. ===

    They had difficulty since Rauner didn’t release any details until the end of session. It’s LOL to assert that the members don’t know what’s up now.

    The other takeaway is that the Rauner folks think they need to shown another example of their efforts. Evidently, they’re concerned about their perception.

    Finally, as Willy and others have said, this won’t change the reception to the anti-union proposals.


  38. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:20 pm:

    - Juice -,

    ===I think it is also important to remind you that during these trying times, the Government that you oversee is currently only operating under court order, and your union contract is expired, so maybe that should be a higher priority for you instead of micromanaging from afar the revenue and collective bargaining decisions made by local elected officials.===

    Well said.

    (Tips cap to - Norseman -)


  39. - Anonymous - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:21 pm:

    Gov. Rauner, please keep your lapdog Goldberg in check and also cut the wages of your staff. They are no better than the rest of state employees. You know, come down off the mountain top and quit thinking the world revolves around you.


  40. - PublicServant - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:22 pm:

    Willy, correct me if I’m wrong, but wouldn’t a bill or two with the actual language clarify what Bruce may have, oh, glossed over in his oh-so-cloying, note? Otherwise isn’t this just more spin?


  41. - burbanite - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:22 pm:

    @ How Ironic-LOL!

    Did this letter include drafts of the specific language for the bills he wants? Wouldn’t want the GA voting down Sham legislation…


  42. - chi - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:25 pm:

    Dear Bruce,

    We heard you the first time. We’re not interested.

    Sincerely,

    The IL House and Senate


  43. - Salty - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:26 pm:

    The numbers for wage growth for the second quarter were released today and it wasn’t good. Wage growth was really low. Lowest it has been in a while. This was taken as bad news. i didn’t see anyone call it good news. So why would our governor want to lower wages of employees? I suggest reading a synopsis of the report.


  44. - Anonymous - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:27 pm:

    Must be Friday afternoon. Rauner is heard from.


  45. - Jack Stephens - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:27 pm:

    Bruce,

    I want reiterate that you did NOT campaign on any of this, and if you had…..Quinn would have been re-elected by a landslide.

    Jack


  46. - Anonymous - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:28 pm:

    It must be Friday afternoon. Rauner is heard from.


  47. - Anonymous - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:28 pm:

    “… most compassionate state in the nation …”

    Says the tone deaf man who cut social service funding for the most needy of Illinois


  48. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:29 pm:

    - PublicServant -

    Here’s my take on your question…

    The Rauner Crew is “trying to win the day”

    If they get;

    RAUNER SEEKS CONPROMISE WITH LEGISLATORS WITH LETTER

    … They think they won the day.

    It running a campaign. It has nothing to do with Bills or Language.

    It’s “winning the day”. That’s what this letter is exactly.


  49. - Fed up with Rauner - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:32 pm:

    No “Crush the unions, effectively lower state worker pay and take away their pensions” rhetoric? Bruce, you’re getting soft. I’m disappointed. /sarcasm


  50. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:32 pm:

    ===“Nope,” she said.===

    Every response she gives, I become more of a fan of Rikeesha Phelon.

    “Nope”. lol


  51. - Kubrick - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:32 pm:

    Notice how his proposed changes are now “compromise” Turnaround legislation? With whom has he met a compromise? His original legislation? Doesn’t it take two to make a compromise? I think he is just trying to own the terminology with this phrasing.


  52. - Norseman - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:33 pm:

    === So why would our governor want to lower wages of employees? ===

    Salty, he wants to allow locals to cut wages to make up for state cuts and state imposed freeze on local revenue.


  53. - Tournaround Agenda - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:34 pm:

    Yes Bruce, nothing ideological at all about trying to destroy unions at every turn.


  54. - kimocat - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:34 pm:

    Dear Legislators:

    I really want Illinois to be a very compassionate state — hey, I don’t like kicking behinds of autistic kids, but I want what I want. We are needin’ more money for all that compassion and it sure isn’t coming out of the hides of guys like me. So, you know we’ll just freeze property taxes until local governments starting bringin’ down those costs by stickin’ it to all those union teachers and construction workers that are makin’ WAY too much money. Someone needs to tell it like it should be. Middle class workers have been on the gravy train for too long and I’m the baddest guy that can kick them off it.

    Sincerely,
    Bad Bruce


  55. - CB - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:36 pm:

    OK..so reading these comments many have stated that these two proposals from the Gov are not going to happen with the Democratic controlled General Assembly. So what do you propose the Gov should do? Just say OK and pass various tax increases to cover the $4 billion budget and say to the voter that elected him, sorry I tried but things are not going to change in Springfield? That is not going to happen. Tax increase without reforms means more of the same for Illinois… under funded pensions, high taxes and same low economic growth.


  56. - How Ironic - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:36 pm:

    Rauner reminds me of my kids when they were very little.

    Dad, mom said I can go to the park, all by myself instead of going to school today.

    Me, “Honey did you tell the kids anything about going to the park”?

    Wife “?” No.

    It’s like he’s the worlds worst 5 year old, with a terrible lying problem, and zero self awareness. Except, to his detriment, EVERYONE else is aware.


  57. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:38 pm:

    - CB -

    Go here. Read. Understand.

    https://capitolfax.com/2015/07/30/todays-number-500-million-2/


  58. - Norseman - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:38 pm:

    Rich, while you were on the phone with Cullerton’s spokesperson did you get the Lance press release slapping Cullerton for rejecting the Gov’s mild reform request and once again embracing the corrupt practices of the political class and giving his soul to the evil incarnate, MJM?


  59. - How Ironic - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:39 pm:

    @CB,

    I propose the Gov DO HIS JOB. The legislature passed a budget. It was over appropriated. Rauner, as THE GOV, has 100% power to strike out lines that he feels are not good for the state.

    He needs to man up, and tell the public exactly what he does/doesn’t want to fund. THAT’S HIS JOB. As defined by the State Constitution.

    Governing is hard. He won the job, now do it.


  60. - Wensicia - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:39 pm:

    “Nope,”

    BR: “But..but, my servants on the Tribune editorial board said you would!! That’s not fair!!!”

    “Bruce, it’s time for your nap.”


  61. - A guy - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:42 pm:

    Nope = another day in Punxsutawney.


  62. - How Ironic - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:42 pm:

    At this point, I think about the only thing left Rauner hasn’t tried is stealing some memo paper from Cullerton’s office, and sending out memo’s signed by ‘John’.

    That might actually lower is credibility even lower than where it is now. Which has got to be hovering around zero.


  63. - Jack Stephens - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:43 pm:

    @how ironic

    Bruce’s Budget is a few billion out of whack too!


  64. - Flynn's mom - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:44 pm:

    Dear Bruce,
    Your concern and compassion for the most vulnerable among us is underwhelming. Looks like we’ll continue to operate the state via court orders.


  65. - Norseman - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:45 pm:

    === OK..so reading these comments many have stated that these two proposals from the Gov are not going to happen with the Democratic controlled General Assembly. So what do you propose the Gov should do? Just say OK and pass various tax increases to cover the $4 billion budget and say to the voter that elected him, sorry I tried but things are not going to change in Springfield? ===

    CB, if you’re guy was so strong in character as he professes he could do what he said he was going to do and cut the budget. Have him present a REAL balanced budget in bill form and tell the Dems to work with those bills only. The Dems will pass the bills with add-ons, but then the Gov can IV/RV them to bring them back to balance.

    CB, it won’t happen because your guy really, really knows more revenue is needed too.


  66. - burbanite - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:45 pm:

    @CB The “reforms” in the letter will have very little impact directly on the state budget. What should he do? He should look at real savings, like eliminating redundant services (twps in suburban and urban counties which are a republican tool), reducing the salaries of the top wage earners in the state ie. “superstars” dept. heads, people earning over lets say 150-200 thousand, eliminate executive perks (like payoffs for being tier 2, additional car allowances for people with state cars etc.), upgrade computer systems and software to be more efficient and use less man hours etc….


  67. - Politix - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:48 pm:

    I’m sure everyone is waiting with baited breath for him to knock on their doors. I’d bet that the possibility of a functional relationship with a lot of these house and senate reps is way past its prime. But good luck to you, sir.


  68. - CB - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:52 pm:

    Norseman.. I agree he should present a balance budget, but the GA should have passed a balance budget also. But I understand why he and he did not do this because he would be vilified for reducing various needed programs to fit the current expected revenues. It is the same reason the GA passed a budget with the same revenue gaps. Nobody wants to go first with either the balanced budget or the needed tax increases.


  69. - Liberty - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:52 pm:

    Where are your bills Bruce?


  70. - Flynn's mom - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:55 pm:

    Dear Bruce,
    I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.
    Sincerely,
    Friedrich Nietzche


  71. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:55 pm:

    ===I agree he should present a balance budget, but the GA should have passed a balance budget also.===

    (a) comes before (b)…

    === It is the same reason the GA passed a budget with the same revenue gaps. Nobody wants to go first with either the balanced budget or the needed tax increases.===

    That’s why compromise and structured roll calls are created.

    This has nothing to do with a budget. Zero.

    It’s the other “stuff” that’s preventing the discussion on the $500 million gap.

    You know that, right?


  72. - How Ironic - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:57 pm:

    @CB

    ” But I understand why he and he did not do this because he would be vilified for reducing various needed programs to fit the current expected revenues. ”

    Governing is hard CB. Bruce wanted the job, sold the public that he could ‘take the arrows’. Well, now is time to start taking those arrows.

    If all he wanted were friends, he should have stayed home and took in some shelter dogs. They make great friends.


  73. - Anon - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 3:58 pm:

    Anonymous - “Legislators are probably receiving “incomplete” information because the Governor refuses to file bills with his language.” Incomplete and inaccurate, including his reference to Cullerton.

    Anonymous - “Written in a positive way, Rauner outlines what he wants and why.” Because calling himself anti-union and anti-worker gets him nowhere. There is nothing positive about his end game.


  74. - Logic not emotion - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 4:01 pm:

    I suspect that the main gripe many have with the prevailing wage is that it is not reflective of the actual wages. Around this area, the prevailing wage that counties have to adopt for positions is usually several times what those positions otherwise make. That drives up the cost of public construction and actually prevents it from being done sometimes. If the prevailing wage was the truly the average wage paid for a certain position in a certain area, I wouldn’t complain about it and I doubt many would.

    Along the same train, I think unions have their place and I could actually be supportive of them; but they often get carried away with unreasonable demands. I know of one person who was hired for a union construction position and was amazed at the restrictions. He had his CDL, was qualified to operate a backhoe and do different tasks; but the union rules prohibited him from doing all on the same job so they had to have several additional people to do a job and that drove the cost up drastically. I also participated on a school board which was hit with unfair bargaining practice allegations over a proposal to shift the bus boarding schedule so the youngest kids would be on the bus less time. A few of the teachers might have had to be at the school for up to an additional five minutes per day. Although it was many years ago, I still think less of those teachers.


  75. - Anon - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 4:02 pm:

    How Ironic - “At this point, I think about the only thing left Rauner hasn’t tried is stealing some memo paper from Cullerton’s office, and sending out memo’s signed by ‘John’.”

    Best thing I’ve read today. Who knows? Rauner might think using his own paper with his name marked through and Cullerton’s added might fool us all.


  76. - CB - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 4:03 pm:

    Oswego…(a) does not have to come before (b) the GA passed a budget where did those bills come from? You know the process the as well as I do. Secondly, the other “stuff” is important for this state to change. If you think the status quo of the state’s economy is OK and the laws and regs that affect it do not need reform I don’t know what else to say.


  77. - Politix - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 4:05 pm:

    Logic not emotion:

    I’m sure the feeling was mutual - teachers aren’t babysitters.


  78. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 4:05 pm:

    - CB -, there’s a reason that Article VIII sections (a) and (b) are in that order.

    Also, until you read the link I gave you… Your thoughts are too partisan to the governmental understanding of the $500 million difference and why no budget.

    The budget is the hostage.


  79. - CB - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 4:06 pm:

    Ironic … It’s the Gov job to govern and not the GA? Don’t you find it a little disingenuous for the GA to pass a budget that did not meet the constitutional requirement to be balanced? I know the Gov proposed a unbalanced budget too but it was not adopted and sent for approval it was for discussion.


  80. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 4:09 pm:

    - CB -,

    With respect,

    You’re missing the whole point.

    Rauner could’ve AVed too. Rauner chose no balanced budget AND no AVed budget.

    Cullerton then asked the Governor for… a budget, like (a) in Article VIII.


  81. - CB - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 4:14 pm:

    Oswego.. Sorry I did not see your earlier post… I understand the $500 million issue but it does not matter what the number is. We all know the budget is a mess. But it is crazy that the current members of the GA don’t take any responsibility for it If the GA was so concerned about the budget deficit they could have extended the temporary tax increase last fall. But no they were concerned about getting re-elected first.


  82. - CB - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 4:16 pm:

    Oswego .. I agree the Gov could and I believe should propose a balanced budget but the GA could pass one too.


  83. - How Ironic - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 4:18 pm:

    @- CB - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 4:06 pm:

    “Ironic … It’s the Gov job to govern and not the GA?”

    You’re implying that Rauner has actually done any governing? So far I’ve only seen blatent lies about non-existent discussions between he and Cullerton, snarky memos from his staff, and and endless parade of ‘won’t you like me’ ads. Maybe he ought to actually you know…govern?

    “Don’t you find it a little disingenuous for the GA to pass a budget that did not meet the constitutional requirement to be balanced?”

    That’s WHY we have a GOVERNOR with a A/V Pen (line item veto). It was well within his power to make all the cuts he felt were necessary to become balanced. He’s not a powerless victim here, he needs to man up and make the hard choices he promised during the campaign.

    “I know the Gov proposed a unbalanced budget too but it was not adopted and sent for approval it was for discussion.”

    The Gov’s constitutionally outlined responsibility is NOT to send the GA a ‘Budget Discussion Outline’. It’s to send the budget that the Gov is requesting. He couldn’t even satisfy that minimal amount of work? He has an entire office dedicated to do just that. GOMB (Gov’s Office of Management and BUDGET).

    Quit playing the victim here. Tell Rauner to do his job.


  84. - JS Mill - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 4:20 pm:

    =I suspect that the main gripe many have with the prevailing wage is that it is not reflective of the actual wages. Around this area, the prevailing wage that counties have to adopt for positions is usually several times what those positions otherwise make. That drives up the cost of public construction=
    It might be more but it is not several times more. That is either hyperbole or purposefully dishonest.

    You can look up the rates for any county/entity required to adopt a prevailing wage resolution and see what the rates actually are.

    Even Rauner’s hand picked state superintendent acknowledged that you cannot freeze property taxes and reduce/fail to meet funding levels for schools and local government.

    He also laid blame at the states feet for the high property taxes (right where it belongs) due to under funding and the need for local government (primarily schools) to fund funding. Now he wants schools to cut costs further by chopping pay. I would like to see Donna Arduim’s play book with the formulas that show how this will help the economy.


  85. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 4:24 pm:

    To: Members of the General Assembly
    From: Bruce Rauner, Governor

    Hope you’ve enjoyed the mailers.
    Now here’s what I’d like you to do for me.


  86. - CB - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 4:26 pm:

    Ironic .. so under your theory the GA has nothing to do with the budget process…1) Gov submits budget, 2) GA passes budget with additional spending (lets just assume) 3) Gov AV the budget and were done.. What if the GA over-rides the AV and we have a out-of-balance budget? Now what? Oh that is right we did last year (out-of-balanced budget).. how did that work out?


  87. - Bibe - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 4:29 pm:

    “little else should be standing in the way of an agreement”…except for that pesky opinion from the Attorney General that it would be illegal.


  88. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 4:29 pm:

    Dear Governor:

    You should have followed the advice given by McQueary today and backed Cullerton’s proposal WITHOUT all the crazy anti-worker stuff hitched to it.

    You may indeed “win the day” as Oswego Willy suggests, but by this time next week, no one except the people who work for you will remember or care. So at the end of the day, what will you have won?

    Instead, you are passing on the opportunity to lead school funding reform, to not just freeze property taxes, but to provide property tax relief to people AND businesses across the state.

    BTW, the problem isn’t that legislators don’t really understand what you want, or why you have been saying you want it. The problem is that they understand exactly what you want and why.


  89. - Norseman - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 4:29 pm:

    CB, and that is why we are in deep trouble.


  90. - JS - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 4:30 pm:

    @Frank and @The Captain are really on to the political essence of this stand off. What does the “Turnaround Agenda” give the average rank-and-file majority member of the legislature? Answer: Nothing but pain.

    Put all ideology aside, legislative bodies just don’t sign on to something if they don’t get a “win” or two in return.


  91. - CB - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 4:31 pm:

    Norseman.. I agree we are in deep trouble


  92. - Langhorne - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 4:42 pm:

    BR: I am communicating with you directly, because your staff analysis keeps saying i want to gut the unions, and other nonsense. Look at all the comfy words i put in this memo. Reasonableness personified.
    ( okay, you got me. This was a friday lollipop for the press, to
    make it look like i am compromising. I crack me up)

    Bruce should put 5 or 6 actual bills, and the two CAs he wants out there, and say, how many votes can i get on these? I can deliver X gop votes. Show me your amendments. 36/71

    Its like bruce is playing poker, but the cards (vote tallies) dont speak for themselves. He wants the dems to agree from the start that a full house doesnt beat two pair.


  93. - Rod - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 4:44 pm:

    Governor Rauner’s use of the CPS example was duplicitous because the language on giving “local governments and voters the ability to determine what issues must be negotiated” does not indicate that every collective bargaining issue that could possibly cost a local government money could be prohibited by the Governor’s language.

    Rich has posted this language, its not limited to something like the pension pick up issue, it includes even vacation time, wages, hours of work, benefits, really everything.


  94. - Logic not emotion - Monday, Aug 3, 15 @ 9:31 am:

    JS Mills: I hadn’t looked them up to double check before posting and they are not several times higher. They are probably about twice as high for some positions before adding in the other requirements.

    Can you explain how the “prevailing rates” are determined? When the Dept of Labor calculates it, do they exclude the public works jobs?


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